Thursday, June 13, 2013

#2013-22 Fed up with Local Sitka Fishing

June 12, 2013

On Wednesday we continued our fishing in the waters local to Sitka.  At 5am we take a 2-hour ride to the promise land, Biorka Island.  It was pretty good last year so we dragged bait for 4 hours with just a small black cod to show for it, not much promise today.  So we head back towards Sitka, working the Eastern Channel, just 30 minutes outside of town and protected from the ocean swells. It was a long, slow day and we landed a few Cohos. Even so, the views were spectacular in the bright sunshine which required liberal doses of sunscreen for some crew.

The view east from the Eastern Channel fishing ground.
A cruise ship is visible between the islands off Sitka.

Trolling speed, depth, heading and
chart plotter on the Samsung Galaxy III
display repeated from the pilothouse
to the flybridge.

Alex experimented with the Samsung smartphone and was able to repeat the chart plotter display up on the flybridge. It was a cool wifi navigational extension, but it didn't contribute to getting us any more salmon!  After a very slow fishing day we set the crab traps in Camp Coogan Bay.

June 13th, 2013

On Thursday, Dave awoke the boat as usual about 5AM.  We headed back out to the Rock Pile and landed a King just after 7am.  With just the one bite, things went even quieter so again we moved to Eastern Channel.  We trolled and trolled without nibbles, and got pretty bored.  We quit at 2pm and pulled the crab traps, which had no tenants.  We returned to Sitka fed up with the local fishing, but with a new plan in mind.

Back in December, Jay Field invited Alex was to a meeting of the Puget Sound Anglers, Fidalgo - San Juan Islands Chapter.  Jay is a Chapter official, and the meetings are at Jay's restaurant, Village Pizza, Anacortes, the best pizza place around.  The speaker was a charter fishing guide and the topic was some fancy new 3-D depth sounder.  More importantly, he is a fishing guide out of Sitka.  So after his talk, Alex asked where he fishes around Sitka.  The first words out of his mouth were Whale Bay.

Whale Bay is 35 miles south of Sitka, an hours ride in a fast charter boat, but 4 hours for the Wild Blue.  As soon as we arrived back at the docks, we set about preparing for a 3-day cruise to the Bay.  Provisions, water, evening refreshments, and bait were all secured, and by 6 in the evening we were on our way. The route takes us through 3 narrows for a protected inside passage, but the last hour is in the outside waters of the Gulf of Alaska.  The last hour was surprisingly fair for an open ocean ride and we dropped 2 crab traps and the anchor just after sunset at 10pm in Sitllwater Harbor, an anchorage that lives up to its name.  We're eager for morning to arrive.

Our route from Sitka to Whale Bay

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